MetroPCS To Launch CDMA/LTE Handsets

The prepaid provider is looking to offer more smartphones and mobile services when it rolls out Long-Term Evolution networks next year.

Marin Perez, Contributor

September 15, 2009

2 Min Read

MetroPCS said Tuesday it has chosen Ericsson and Samsung as vendors for its deployment of handsets and 4G networks based on Long-Term Evolution technology.

The prepaid provider plans to roll out LTE networks next year, and it will also offer high-end Samsung handsets that can utilize 4G data for mobile Internet surfing, as well as other services. The LTE handset will also be able to use MetroPCS' CDMA networks for areas where there is no 4G coverage.

"As the Internet goes mobile we are excited to be at the forefront of this wireless evolution with the building out of our LTE/CDMA smartphone in our major metropolitan markets in late 2010," said Roger Linquist, CEO of MetroPCS, in a statement. "When launched, our customers will benefit from our next generation, leading-edge network technology which will enable true high-speed Internet access in the palm of their hand."

The deployment plan is rather aggressive considering MetroPCS does not have the size or resources of companies like AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which are also planning to roll out LTE networks. MetroPCS said the theoretical 100 Mbps download speeds of LTE will enable it to go after the prepaid home Internet market as well.

Verizon is also planning to rapidly deploy LTE networks, and it recently completed a successful LTE trial in Boston and Seattle. The nation's largest U.S. carrier is planning to have 4G services in 30 markets by the end of 2010, and it is aiming for a nationwide network by 2015.

While LTE is gaining momentum, WiMax is trying to become the de-facto standard for 4G. The competing technology has a lower theoretical downlink speed, but it has received investments from Google, Sprint Nextel, and multiple cable companies. Additionally, WiMax has a time-to-market advantage, as Clearwire has already deployed multiple WiMax networks that offer customers up to 8 Mbps on the go.

LTE vs. WiMax won't be the typical winner-take-all showdown. Learn what each brings to the race (registration required).

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